Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In The Moment

Some of you may recall a post I wrote earlier this year about Jack's foray into the world of Russian preschool, and how he didn't exactly fit in. At the time, I blamed some of his disobedience on the fact that the teacher was speaking in Russian, but over the past few months, it's come to my attention that Jack is very good at ignoring directions in English too.

We enrolled Jack in the local preschool here in Red Lodge, Montana, for the few months we're here so that Jack could do a little catching up after missing a year of schooling and so that I could have a little me-time to preserve my sanity. He's only been to school about six or seven times so far because of the holidays and what-not, so when his teacher announced last week that the kids would be having their holiday performance on January 6th, I was a little concerned. After all, how much time could Jack possibly have had to practice? Heck, even if he'd been practicing for months, I figured the odds of him following directions were slim to none.

Still, John and I dutifully showed up at the local Boys and Girls Club last night along with the other parents, feeling fairly out of place ourselves since the only people we knew were Jack's teacher and the local pediatrician. I quickly noted that I needed to get Jack a pair of cowboy boots and that I wasn't wearing nearly enough fleece. Eventually, the teachers managed to wrangle all the kids and the performance began.

The kids were divided into two groups by age, Jack being in the younger group. The little kids were supposed to stay in the aisle with their teacher while the big kids lined up in front. I think you can see from this photo what happened.

Whose kid is that on the right? The lack of discipline is truly appalling. Oh, wait...

So yeah, basically Jack decided he was going to ring a bell right along with the older kids. For about three songs. But you know, ringing the bell wasn't really enough for Jack. Clearly what this performance needed was a little dancing...

Yeesh. I thought this was bad, until Jack started running around behind the other kids and even decided to throw a little basketball into the mix. Then there was his own class's performance, which went in roughly the same manner. Our kid was literally the only kid who didn't do exactly what all the other kids were doing. It was hilarious and humiliating at the same time. Part of me wanted to yell, "It's not his fault! We've been living in Siberia for the past year and a half!" (Even though the rest of me kind of knew that probably didn't have anything to do with it.) In the end, there was really nothing to do but hug our kid and tell him what a great job he'd done. Sure, he didn't follow the directions or listen to his teachers (or obey my frantic gestures to get his ass over with his classmates), but by golly he had fun. And frankly, the performance was a little dull.

A little post-performance snack. After all, show business is hard work.

As someone who has had social anxiety for as long as I can remember, it's something of a miracle to me that my kid seems to have no inhibitions whatsoever. In fact, it's one of the things I love most about him. Yes, we need to work on his listening skills just a smidge, but I hope he never loses his ability to live in the moment. Frankly, it's something I could stand to do a little more often. That's why for 2014, I didn't make a list of resolutions like I normally do. Most of the things I want to achieve or hope will happen are completely out of my control anyway.

Kind of like Jack.

Jack's New Year's resolution for 2014: eat more cookies.


Erin said...

This is all well and good until Burning Man 2034.

Normandie Ward Fischer said...

So cute!

Jessie Humphries said...

Haha, little jack is a cutie!

Anonymous said...

I love the last picture here... the little boy in the background looking over at Jack might be thinking "that boy knows how to have fun" :-)


Claire said...

Hahaha I totally agree with Jake that this performance needed some dancing! He looks like such a happy kid :D